April 02, 2018

Chestnut Mushroom, Browned Shallots & Marjoram Soup | Celia's Saucer


It's going to be another spring where the winter doesn't quite beat a hasty retreat but, rather, the cold will clutch at where it can. For this kind of unsteady seasonal shift, there's soup.

Use ingredients that are wholesome, nourishing and speak of green spring flavour as it emerges - wild garlic, leeks, broccoli - and marry them up with robust, perennial herbs and earthy vegetables that weather the winter. 

This recipe came about after a hankering for french onion soup and deciding that sweet, early spring shallots would be better here - especially if they were cooked slowly and browned all over in butter. The damp weather made me think of mushrooms, and a fond memory of a new neighbour bringing me a bunch of marjoram on a cold, spring day in 2014 and how I delighted in the pine like smell that filled the kitchen. 

The recipe? Here you are.

Serves two
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INGREDIENTS 

4 shallots, finely sliced
Knob of butter
Splash of olive oil 
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or a good squidge of lazy garlic)
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
400g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 or 2 potatoes, diced
Chicken stock to cover
Small handful fresh marjoram (if using dry, be sparing as it's much stronger)
Smoked salt / pepper to season

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METHOD 

Slowly brown the shallots over a medium heat in the butter and splash of oil for as long as your patience wears - mine only last about 30-minutes but longer is better

Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes before adding celery, mushrooms and potato and continuing to cook until coated with oil and softened 

Cover with stock and bring to the boil

Turn heat to medium/high and simmer for 15-20mins

When cooler, blend until smooth - chuck in the fresh marjoram along the way

Serve with black pepper and a sprinkling of smoked salt


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